Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Brooklyn Nets

by Fox Doucette There’s something to be said for grade inflation, as asking if the Brooklyn Nets are “good” is a question with an obvious answer, while asking “do they completely suck or is there hope here?” is a completely different question with a less obvious one. After all, if a straight-F student at least starts pulling a C-minus once in awhile, there’s hope that you can put them through community college and they might just end up with a decent job someday, while other straight-F students wash out and die of drug overdoses in alleys. The Nets have looked …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Cleveland Cavaliers

by Fox Doucette This year, the Cleveland Cavaliers, not content with the answer they got in 2007 the last time they asked this question, have posed the inquiry “How bad a Letter League outfit can we put around LeBron James and still make the Finals?” Dwyane Wade is ready to collect a pension, Kevin Love’s transformation into completely ordinary stretch 4 is complete, Kyrie Irving is on the Celtics now and Isaiah Thomas won’t be able to stay healthy, J.R. Smith is still on the team, and Derrick Rose and Kendrick Perkins? Really? Yet Vegas has them as the favorite …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Indiana Pacers

by Fox Doucette Man, it is a terrifying time to be a Pacers fan. This team is good enough to make a bit of noise in the 9-12 echelon in the East and keep the fans clinging to false hopes of the playoffs as late as All-Star Weekend, but they’re bad enough to have no chance whatsoever to make the actual playoffs. Or, if you want the wry, worst-case scenario, they’re not good enough to tank. On the other hand, this is a batch of castoffs and nobodies surrounding the best young player Indiana’s had since…well, since they drafted Paul …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Milwaukee Bucks

by Fox Doucette The team that drives my spell check crazy won 42 games with the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Mirza Teletovic, Matthew Dellavedova, Thon Maker, and Jabari Parker. This year, all the names you know and love are back, and one of the best young cores in the league gets to try and make the leap from 42-win 6 seed to 50-win force of nature. They’ve still got 40-year-old Jason Terry for veteran leadership. They’ve still got Jason Kidd coaching. Vegas likes them for 47, which would be good for fifth in the East, almost bang on …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Detroit Pistons

by Fox Doucette Ladies and jelly spoons, I come before you to stand behind you and inform you of something I know nothing about. Because hot damn, is there a team in the entire NBA that has more of a who-the-hell-are-they problem than the Pistons? Stan Van Gundy’s outfit is known as the team with Andre Drummond, but their Twitter is seemingly openly opposed to #BreakfastSpecial highlight reels, directing you to the un-embed-able world of NBA.com’s game highlights (even WordPress doesn’t like the embed code, so you better hope like hell someone put it on YouTube), Stan Van Gundy’s four-out …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Chicago Bulls

by Fox Doucette No team has fallen quite as far or as spectacularly as the Chicago Bulls seem to have. They traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for nearly nothing. Dwyane Wade is on the Cavaliers. Rajon Rondo is on the Pelicans. Any connection the Bulls had to their old glory days is out the door. And so a team that went 41-41 and snuck into the playoffs last year now projects as a panzer battalion, tanking all over the league. This is the last year a team can bottom out and gain a real advantage from it, so now is …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Orlando Magic

by Fox Doucette Not every team in the NBA has a compelling side story to write about. The Orlando Magic, fresh off an unremarkable 29-53 season in which they were 14-35 after starting out 15-18, speak to that. This will be the third straight year in which they come into the season raising some eyebrows with their youth and athleticism, and it might just be the third straight year in which they fall flat on their faces in the effort. After all, the 2015-16 edition of the squad was 19-13 at one point; they went 16-34 in their last 50. …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Charlotte Hornets

by Fox Doucette The good news is that Charlotte has Dwight Howard. The bad news is that Charlotte has Dwight Howard, and he’s making $23.5 million even though his best years are so far behind him that he counts as nostalgia. While we’re on the subject, did anyone in 2005 seriously believe that Marvin Williams would still be in the NBA in 2017? The guy wasn’t even a starter in college and went second overall. Talk about playing with house money. Plus Michael Carter-Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are on the same team now, and expect me to get their names …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Atlanta Hawks

by Fox Doucette Our journey through the Southeast Division continues, and the best team nobody watched in 2015 just because the worst team nobody’s going to watch in 2018. The Hawks, like most Atlanta sports teams, couldn’t draw flies if you covered them in honey, finished 26th out of 30 in attendance last season, a playoff year, and were in the bottom half even when they went 60-22 (and finished 17th in attendance.) The last time Atlanta was in the top ten in attendance? 1987-88. They were 8th, with Dominique Wilkins dazzling fans…and there were only 23 teams in the …

Read More

Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Washington Wizards

by Fox Doucette John Wall and the Wizketeers started last season 2-8. They finished it 3-5. In between, they went 44-20. Wall and company gave the Celtics all they wanted and nearly snuck into the Eastern Conference Finals out of the four seed, in the process perpetrating the brutal murder of the Atlanta Hawks as an NBA entity and precipitating the rebuild in the 404 that we’ll get to tomorrow. But for now, the question becomes was Washington’s 49-win campaign and solid playoff run a sign of things to come, or just a sign that the East is legitimately that …

Read More